now is how to attack from the walls”.

“I’ll procure some bows and arrows.
They will be difficult for amateurs to use, so rocks will also work for now.
Additionally, I will provide large shields as a cover to minimalize any danger our defenders may face.”

 As Espada and I proceeded on our own, Rhonda and the others froze, stunned.

 While we were greeting the villagers, we had stayed so long that it was now dark outside.
Orto is still outside guarding the carriage, but it is already quite late so it would be unreasonable to head back now.
We will have to stay the night in the village, and then return to the carriages the next morning.

 With that in mind, I’ll have to save greeting Orto and his team for later.

 Villagers quickly gathered around as Rhonda called them over.
There were only a few elderly, at around 10 percent of the total population.
30 percent of the village was middle-aged, 40 percent were young adults, and 20 percent were children.

 When the villagers had all been gathered, they followed instructions from Rhonda, sitting on the spot.

 After confirming this, I opened my mouth.

“I’m Van Ney Fertio.
I have been entrusted by Marquis Fertio to manage this village its lord.
I will do my best to develop the village from now on, and I look forward to working with you.”

 When I said my greetings, there was a burst of applause. 

“Thank you, thank you.”

”I’m just a kid as you can see, but the men I command are top-notch Knights and intellectuals.
When the bandits come, I believe that our combined might can easily repel them.
Villagers, it is time to build our village anew! I promise I will lead this village to strength and prosperity!”

 I know I sounded like a politician, but I hope my enthusiasm came through.
Let’s see how the villagers reacted.

 A young man raised his hand.

“Yes, there.”

 The man opens his mouth with a difficult look on his face when I call on him.

“What will you do about our taxes? We are already paying thirty percent of the harvest, any more would be…”

“How much would 30 percent of the harvest be worth, for the average household?”

“Maybe enough for a dozen small hexenbiest, including their skins, fangs, and bones.” (T.N.
Note: Here I realized that hexenbiest probably aren’t some native flora, but are probably just another name for the “Demon beasts” mentioned earlier.
Well, let me know which name you prefer.
I will use whichever you guys think sounds better.)

 I reply with a nod to the man with an anxious face.

”Then let’s reduce the tax to around five small hexenbiest.
If that tax rate isn’t enough to pay for the village’s expenses, I will pay the rest out of my own pocket.
It’s more important for me to work on keeping the village alive than to levy some heavy tax on its already ailing people.”

 When given such a reply, the villagers shouted in surprise.
Since some villagers had to resort to selling their children to pay their taxes, I suppose such a drastic change in monetary policy was enough to illicit more than a few yells.

 Then a middle-aged woman spoke up.

“Where is the knightly order which was supposed to garrison this village?”

“It will take two weeks for the request for a knighthood to be sent to the capital.
It will take another week to finish preparations for the journey and their subsequent garrison operations.
Then, it will take two to three weeks for the Knights to arrive.
They likely will not arrive in time to help defend against the next raid.
Moreover, they will not send many knights, perhaps only enough to act as a weak deterrence to uninformed bandits.
Also, it would not be strange if no knights ever arrive at all due to our lack of priority in comparison to other larger settlements.”

 My answer is met with anger.

“How long will we have to wait? Will they even come?”

“Just because we’re commoners, they throw us aside…”

 I greatly sympathized with such complaints.

”I can understand your anger.
However, the current situation is dire.
We do not possess the military nor the economy to properly rule this land.
If we only gather a small number of knights, they will just meaninglessly die if they meet a large opponent.
If it’s to deal with a bandit group attacking the village, perhaps a hundred to two hundred knights need to be dispatched.
The food, horses, armor and tools will cost a lot of money to prepare.
Hiring mercenaries would be even more expensive.
We do not have the money nor influence to hire either.
Not to mention, petitions for the dispatch of knights can only be sent weekly, making them unreliable in the face of unexpected or sudden threats.”

 To put it bluntly, we’re in the gutter in terms of manpower and money.
But everyone kept their mouths shut, perhaps because it was the reality they had lived with ever since the territory handover.

 But if you only express dissatisfaction, it will breed negativity.
I looked at Espada and opened my mouth.

”Can you create a wall of dirt behind the village fence for a moment?”

 In response to my request, Espada nodded and then turned his hand to the fence to his left.
A few seconds later, his chanting ended and his magic went into effect.

 The same sturdy-looking earthen wall from the fight against the bandits appeared.

 Seeing the villager’s surprise, I couldn’t suppress the smile which was rising.

”Your cooperation is essential.
If you all cooperate, this village will be reborn into something much greater than before.”

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